time2rock Posted October 18, 2022 Share Posted October 18, 2022 The Day After – Eagles Flush the Boys Posted: October 17th, 2022 | Author: Tommy Lawlor I was nervous about the Dallas game. My eyes told me the Eagles were the better team. Stats told me the Eagles were the better team. All the data and metrics told me the Eagles were the better team. But Dallas is Dallas. They love ruining things for me. I breathed a sigh of relief when the Eagles went up 20-0. There was no way this team was blowing a 3-possession lead. Then we got the news that Lane Johnson was on the way to the locker room. Then Dallas got a long KOR to breathe life into their most miserable half of the year. The lead was 20-3 (still three possessions), but the news about Johnson had me worried. He might be the only RT in the league who can handle Micah Parsons. Losing him changed everything. Sure enough, Dallas got red hot in the third quarter and eventually cut the lead to just 20-17. I hoped the Eagles would lean on the run game to settle things down and at least move the ball. Points would be better, but just go move the ball to start with. The Eagles did lean on the run game and it got them down into scoring territory. A FG would have put the Eagles up 23-17. Not ideal, but still good. Luckily, Jalen Hurts made a couple of key throws and the Eagles had a TD to make the game 26-17. With the Eagles up two possessions at the 7:02 mark, I felt good, but still just a bit nervous. Then CJ Gardner-Johnson made his second pick of the game and the Eagles now had the ball with 5:03 left. I could finally relax a bit. Dallas might make it closer, but they needed a miracle to win. And that offense just doesn’t have the weapons to get big plays right now. They needed a mixture of runs, bootlegs and play-action passes to put together long drives. That isn’t ideal in hurry-up mode. It was great to see the Eagles hold on for the 26-17 win. That gets them to 6-0 and is important for the big picture. https://twitter.com/FO_ASchatz/status/1582018072000745472 Can you imagine a Bills-Eagles Super Bowl? The fanbases would be amazing. ***** Those of us on the outside can afford to peak ahead. Nick Sirianni has his team locked in and living in the moment. That’s one of the keys to the success they are having this season. Hop in the Wayback Machine and set it to October 1992. The 3-0 Eagles hosted the 3-0 Cowboys on MNF. Dallas would have to deal with Randall, Herschel and Gang Green. There was an electric atmosphere at The Vet that night and the game was great. The Eagles won 31-7. They were on their way to the Super Bowl. Life was great. Oops. The Eagles lost two straight games. Injuries set in. Randall lost his confidence and was benched. the team vocalized their dislike of Rich Kotite. Soap operas didn’t have that much drama. After the 4-0 start, the Eagles went just 7-5. They did win a playoff game, but a team that wanted to win the Super Bowl had the awful fate of losing to Dallas in the playoffs and then watching the Cowboys win it all. Ugh. I loved that Eagles team. They might be my favorite of all time. But they had a lot of issues, including staying focused. This team has the benefit of a good head coach and cohesive leadership. That should keep them from wasting a great start. It doesn’t guarantee they’ll win the Super Bowl of course, but it gives them a real chance to compete for a title. ***** The offensive gameplan in the first half was brilliant. Shane Steichen, Kevin Patullo, Brian Johnson, Jeff Stoutland and Sirianni were masterful in how they attacked Dallas. The Cowboys had not allowed more than 19 points in a single game. The Eagles had 20 points at halftime. That’s not luck or an accident. That is a great gameplan and tremendous execution. How do you handle Parsons on key plays? One blocker? Have the RB chip? Double team? How about…unblocked. [NOTE: click on link to article below to view videos] The Eagles did some similar things to Von Miller back in 2017. It is simple, but brilliant. Don’t block the player. Give him tough choices and then go away from what he does. Hurts could throw to AJ, someone else or just run. Try to make it so Parsons can’t be right. Not only did the Eagles move the ball, they scored TDs. Dallas had the #2 red zone defense coming into the game. The Eagles went 3 for 4 in the red zone. If they settle for FGs, that’s a different game. The coaches had a really smart gameplan and the players made it come to life. ***** I know it can look easy when Jalen Hurts does some of the RPO stuff. It isn’t. If it was easy, you’d see 31 other teams copying the Eagles playbook. Hurts is a threat as a runner and that’s a key part of the equation. He also throws a very catchable pass. Those passes don’t need to be rockets. They need touch and he’s good at that. The QB also needs to make the reads while moving around. Hurts did plenty of this in high school and college so it feels more natural to him. He continues to impress me with how he’s grown in the past year. ***** The Eagles were the smarter team last night. They lined up on 4th/4 at the DAL 10 very late in the first quarter. They wanted to try to draw Dallas offside. I hate when they do this. You know the other team won’t jump. They can see you aren’t really going to run a play. If one of the offense jumps early, it kills you. Why risk it? Because every now and then…it works. Fowler jumped and gave the Eagles a free first down. The next play was a TD run by Miles Sanders. That was a costly mistake. The Eagles still might have gone for it on fourth down and converted, but giving them the penalty yards took a lot of pressure off. Lack of discipline by Dallas. The Cowboys defense did pressure Hurts in the game. He was sacked four times. He had a few other plays where he rolled out wide and threw the ball away. He wanted to avoid losing yards if possible, but definitely didn’t want to turn it over. Cooper Rush forced some throws into coverage. The Eagles came up with three interceptions and had a chance at a couple more. Rush knew the scouting report on the Eagles. They have an outstanding secondary and they get their hands on a lot of passes. Rush should have been more careful with some of his decisions. Better to throw the ball away and punt than to give it away. Parsons drew a flag for a taunting penalty. That didn’t lead to any points, but gave his offense more ground to cover when they got the ball back. Trevon Diggs took off his helment and slammed it into the ground to draw a penalty (after a TD). ***** The Diggs penalty led to an interesting decision. The Eagles were up 26-17. Sirianni decided to take the penalty on the 2-point conversion and move the ball to the 1-yard line. The Eagles then went for it and got stuffed. Analytics says that when you’re up 9, kick the extra point. Sirianni was focused on the fact his offense needed just one yard. That was too good to pass up. If the Eagles got the 2, Dallas would need a FG, TD and conversion to tie them. I get the decision, but I would have kicked in that spot. Go up 10 points so they need a TD and a FG just to tie. ***** The Eagles lead the league in takeaways. They added DBs James Bradberry and CJ Gardner-Johnson in the offseason. They’ve combined for 5 INTs. All the starting CBs have at least one pick. Then you think about Haason Reddick and his strip sacks. The Eagles can turn you over up front or down the field. Jonathan Gannon and Sirianni have preached about how much they value turnovers. Howie Roseman got them players who can make that happen. The defense is tough to throw against and they’ve made pocket passers struggle to find open receivers. As we saw last night, there is still work to be done when covering TEs and play-action passes. Still, this secondary has been terrific and the defense is doing a great job at taking the ball away. They have forced at least one turnover in each game. http://igglesblitz.com/2022/10/after-eagles-flush/ Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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